Talk:Erich Auerbach

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Separate article for Mimesis?[edit]

A substantial portion of material formerly part of the Auerbach article was removed - will it reappear in another place? Why not leave it in until it does reappear? Fanfarlo (talk) 15:56, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Should Mimesis have a separate article, as it is, for example, in the Italian wiki? Given the importance of the essay, it sounds like a reasonable choice.-- (talk) 11:49, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I like the fact that Mimesis stays within Auerbach's page. What is annoying is that the first chapter is given its own seperate article. Spypit (talk) 05:12, 4 January 2009 (UTC)Spypit (Jan 4, 2008)

  • I disagree--a book this important deserves its own article, and I'm going to be bold and do it. Drmies (talk) 21:13, 8 February 2009 (UTC)


I have just read the book so I thought I would edit while it was fresh in my mind
"often considered one of the most ambitious works of literary theory ever undertaken": - removed. Kind of meaningless and many philsophers have put forward ambtious literary theories e.g. Hegel. And I think the argument of Mimesis is simple (as simple as St. Augustine's City of God).
"Revealing the system of conventions that produce "a lifelike illusion of some 'real' world outside the text by processes of selection, exclusion, description, and manners of addressing the reader," Auerbach sets up conclusions about how literature, the world, and literature’s place in the world were understood in each work and historical period." This does not happen. He 'shows' how Christian (biblical) representation infiltrates, undermines classical (Greek and Roman) conventions of depication (non-depiction), how that undermining was reversed in French classicism, and subsequently undermined again in modern realism and naturalism.
"Staggeringly comprehensive" Who is staggered? Any educated person can read most of the texts.
"Mimesis gives a thorough account of the kinds of tactics used to reproduce external reality in works by many Western writers, from ancient Greek and Roman writers Euripides, Cicero, Plato, Petronius and Horace, early Christian writers such as Augustine, Renaissance writers Boccaccio, Montaigne, and Rabelais, Elizabethan-era writers Shakespeare and Cervantes, Enlightenment writers such as Voltaire, eighteenth and nineteenth-century writers Goethe, Stendhal, Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, Dostoevsky and Zola, all the way up to nineteenth and twentieth-century writers Kafka, Proust, Thomas Mann, Woolf and Joyce": This is highly misleading. Euripides is not analysed, nor are Cicero, Plato (more than in passing), Horace, Goethe, Hugo (not directly), Dostoyevsky (not analysed, Auerbach declined to comment more on the Russians precisely because he can't read the language), Kafka (mentioned!), Thomas Mann (mentioned!), Joyce is hardly analysed either, though mentioned positively (though perhaps EA's English wasn't so strong that he didn't find Ulysses hard going!) The account is not as thorough as is claimed. It looks at a range of texts are how seriously they take everyday life, the life of ordinary people (leaving out comedy - as if realism can't be comic), except some lives are less everyday and less ordinary than others...
"Despite his near-exhaustive treatment of the major works": He leaves out TONS.
"Historicism": though it is remarkable how broad-brush the historical background is. His work is marred by his bias towards French literature. His strengths and defects are those of traditional German scholarship - addressing important questions, with a range of view from the microscopic to the telescopic, but never quite getting the living present of any era into focus, almost too much a 'scholar'.Jacques Custard 13:56, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Thank God somebody took the time to elimiate all of this useless information. My impression is that the original article was written by someone who had not read the book. It is clear when you read the book cover to cover that as a philologist Auerbach is interested in understanding how modern realism arrived and why the rhetrocial tradition just disappeared. Good work! Spypit (talk) 05:12, 4 January 2009 (UTC)Spypit (Jan 4, 2008)

Removed bibliography entry[edit]

I have removed the following "For a more extensive discussion of Auerbach's exile in Turkey and his saga in coming to the US from Turkey see TURKEY'S MODERNIZATION: Refugees from Nazism and Ataturk's Vision by Arnold Reisman" because it does not add to the lemma itself. See Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not -- Mabuse 19:34, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Same book spam, different IP by removed. -- Mabuse 17:22, 8 December 2006 (UTC)